Remembering the days we used to review WiFi hotspots

I’m reposting a piece I wrote together with Eva Gubat from 2006. This was a time when the blue & black Linksys routers were a status symbol at home because the “next frontier” was being able to add WiFi to your home. It was the age of Apple’s iBooks and PowerBooks — of being able to flex working from a coffee shop. I remember browsing PinoyExchange or MaPalad and the forums would have a list of “friendly” establishments that had free WiFi and allowed you to plug your laptop.

Many phones didn’t have WiFi back then so getting online on a portable device meant having to use a PocketPC or something that ran Palm OS. These were the final days of Symbian S60 and Nokia, which Steve Jobs would then deliver the final blow with the launch of the first iPhone a few months later.

This piece was part of an ongoing series that featured such friendly establishments offering free WiFi. Tech magazines at the time didn’t cross into lifestyle, but publishers soon realized that it was the lifestyle sections that attracted the budgets, so we had to be fashionably geek. Oh how times have changed.